People

Our backgrounds, experience and personal interests may be diverse, but our team is in agreement that when it comes to High Falls Advisors, it’s all about you.

James T. Englert

President and CEO

Ken Burke

CFO & General Manager

Jennifer Vogler

Chief Compliance Officer

Mike Donnelly

Portfolio Manager and Vice President, Advisor Services

Robert Vay

Vice President, Operations

Debbie Bastow

Senior Financial Advisor

Alecia Fisher Dougherty

Senior Financial Advisor

Maureen J. Pilato

Senior Financial Advisor

Randi Beach

Financial Advisor

Debbie King

Financial Advisor

Zachary Harrington

Financial Advisor

Russell Mandrino

Financial Advisor

James H. McBride

Founder

John Littwitz

Benefits Specialist

Jim Nesbitt

Social Security Specialist

Tim Verna

Client Service/Tax Preparer

Bonita Cordy

Client Service

Jean Rossi

Executive Client Service

Dariya Tes

Client Service

Debbie Ferris

Receptionist

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James T. Englert

James T. Englert, CFP®, EA, President and CEO

p 585.935.8508
e jenglert@highfallsadvisors.com

Jim has played an important role in developing the professional aspects of financial planning in New York State. He has served on the board of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Financial Planning Association and as the President of that organization. In addition he taught CFP® candidates through the Medaille College CFP® certification program. Jim is also an Enrolled Agent with the IRS.

Pre- and post-retirement counseling services are the linchpins of his practice. His background as a benefits counselor at Eastman Kodak Company gave him the foundation for an independent planning business which he operated for a number of years. Now, as the Senior Portfolio Manager at High Falls Advisors, he provides advice and asset management to a variety of clients.

James T. Englert

James T. Englert, CFP®, EA, President and CEO

Jim lives in Irondequoit with his wife, Ellen of 50 years. Jim loves to read, and on occasion has been seen on the beach reading about investment strategies and markets; he calls it his pleasure reading. Jim is also passionate about music, particularly classical and jazz. He has an extensive music collection requiring its own room and much to the amazement of his family, it is still growing. He loves the unique opportunities Rochester has for music and theatre lovers and you will often see him and his wife at the RPO, GEVA or the Auditorium Theatre. When not at work, reading, or at the theatre, Jim loves to travel with his wife and their newest travel companion, his teenage granddaughter.

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Ken Burke

Ken Burke, CPA, CBEC®, CFO & General Manager

p 585-935-8511
e kburke@highfallsadvisors.com

Ken is the Chief Financial Officer and General Manager. Prior to joining High Falls, Ken founded a consulting and business coaching firm specializing in business performance improvement and succession planning. He is a Certified Public Accountant and spent more than 20 years in practice at both national and regional CPA firms as a tax specialist.

Ken specializes in working with business owners to start, grow and ultimately transition their business to the next generation of owners.

Ken Burke

Ken Burke, CPA, CBEC®, CFO & General Manager

Ken grew-up in New Jersey and moved to Rochester in 1999 with his wife Rosella. Ken and Rosella met at Niagara University and he currently serves on the Advisory Board to the College of Business at NU. Ken and Rosella now live in Fairport with their three children, Michael, Lauren & Kevin.

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Jennifer Vogler

Jennifer Vogler, Esq., Chief Compliance Officer

p 585-935-8509
e jvogler@highfallsadvisors.com

Jennifer is an attorney who has been in private practice for the past 10 years specializing in real estate and estate planning. Her legal background is an asset to the firm, as she handles matters of financial policy and industry compliance as Chief Compliance Officer. She also has 15 years of tax preparation experience and leads our Tax Department.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Jennifer received her law degree from the University of Buffalo. She was former editor and manager at Lawyers Cooperative Publishing and LexisNexis.

Jennifer Vogler

Jennifer Vogler, Esq., Chief Compliance Officer

Jennifer is a lifelong Irondequoit resident where she lives with her husband and daughter. She is active in the Irondequoit girl scouts as a leader of her daughter’s troop as well a member of the Irondequoit Girl Scout Service Unit where she currently serves as the Finance Consultant/Treasurer. Jennifer is also a board member of the local Irondequoit Kiwanis Club. In her free time, she enjoys travel, mystery novels, and long walks in nice weather.

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Mike Donnelly

Mike Donnelly, CFP®, MBA, Portfolio Manager and Vice President, Advisor Services

p 585-935-8532
e mdonnelly@highfallsadvisors.com

Michael Donnelly, Portfolio Manager and Vice President, Advisor Services is a portfolio manager and oversees the team of financial advisors at High Falls. Mike joined High Falls Advisors in 2012. He began his career in financial services in 1997 at The Vanguard Group and later joined Fidelity Investments as a Vice President/Sr. Account Executive of the Private Client Group. Mike manages the Enhanced Allocation Strategy and Select Sector Portfolio strategies. In addition to portfolio management, he is the Vice President of Advisory Services and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Mike specializes in investment management and working with individuals to construct personalized, comprehensive financial plans tailored to each client's specific goals and objectives. Mike graduated from the University of Rochester Simon Business School Executive MBA program in 2016.

Mike Donnelly

Mike Donnelly, CFP®, MBA, Portfolio Manager and Vice President, Advisor Services

A native of suburban Philadelphia, Mike moved his family to Rochester in 2008 and resides in the town of Victor with his wife and two children. He is a passionate sports fan, and enjoys baseball and golf and still plays ice hockey.

Mike spends his time away from the office with his family. You will most often find Mike at a hockey rink, baseball/softball field, or a volleyball court for practices and games depending on the season; sometimes he even coaches.

You may be most surprised to know that Mike moved five times before he started high school. He was born in Hartford, CT, moved to Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Fairport, NY, and Boston, MA before moving back to the Philadelphia area during his freshman year of high school.

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Robert Vay

Robert Vay, Vice President, Operations

p 585-935-8507
e rvay@highfallsadvisors.com

Bob was a successful small business owner in the Rochester area for more than 20 years. After he sold his company he joined High Falls Advisors to begin applying his small business management experience to the development of our operations department. In addition to guiding the Operations and Human Resources areas at the firm, Bob works with Jim Englert on implementing portfolio management strategies for our clients.

Robert Vay

Robert Vay, Vice President, Operations

Bob is a lifelong Rochester resident. Bob lives with his wife, Karen, and dogs, Cam and Jeter. He has three grown children. Bob is your “go to” guy both at work and outside of it. When not at work, which is seldom, Bob can be seen on his bicycle, reading, and spending time with family and friends in Rochester and the Thousand Islands.

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Debbie Bastow

Debbie Bastow, MBA, Senior Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8504
e dbastow@highfallsadvisors.com

Throughout her career in Financial Services, Debbie has focused on assisting individuals, families, and businesses in coordinating their financial resources with their goals and aspirations, and developing strategies to help them along the way.

Debbie insists on seeing the "whole picture" before she gives investment, insurance, or planning advice to her clients. Her strengths in investment counseling and financial planning are products of her honors degree in Math from the College of William and Mary and her master’s degree in business and finance from the Simon School at the University of Rochester.

Debbie Bastow

Debbie Bastow, MBA, Senior Financial Advisor

In addition to her husband, Jeff, two grown children and her daughter-in-law, Debbie is blessed with three grandchildren who provide both joy and entertainment to her family. Debbie and Jeff enjoy traveling to New Jersey to visit their children and grandchildren as well as entertaining the whole family at their summer home on Keuka Lake.

Debbie has always been active in the community serving on various boards and committees including the Junior League of Rochester, Gilda's Club and the Chatterbox Club.

Debbie also has a long term love for antiques and repurposing "roadside" and flea market furniture and decorative accessories. This began as she took a Colonial Architecture course at William and Mary from a professor brought to lead the Colonial Williamsburg project by John D. Rockefeller in the 30's. This interest had grown into a lifelong hobby she enjoys. Debbie has furnished her home and cottage, as well as her friends' and children's homes. Her husband, however, wishes she had started collecting thimbles rather than furniture!

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Alecia Fisher Dougherty

Alecia Fisher Dougherty, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8526
e afisher@highfallsadvisors.com

Alecia is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a graduate of Xavier University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Finance and Marketing. Alecia previously worked at Fidelity Investments for nearly 7 years prior to joining High Falls. As a Senior Financial Advisor, she utilizes her education and experience to help clients achieve their financial goals through diligent planning and discussions.

Alecia Fisher Dougherty

Alecia Fisher Dougherty, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor

Alecia hails from a small town in Northwestern Ohio. She relocated to Rochester in 2008 with her former employer after living in Cincinnati for six years. She and her husband, Rick, enjoy spending time with their dogs Lucy, a Saint Bernard, and Jake, a Labradoodle. Alecia enjoys to golf, although, she is still a beginner. Rick was a collegiate golfer and continues to give her lessons every round. She also enjoys cooking, reading, and going to the theatre.

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Maureen J. Pilato

Maureen J. Pilato, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8514
e mpilato@highfallsadvisors.com

Maureen began her career in financial planning and investment management in 2001 after earning her Bachelor’s degree in English from Villanova University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and has worked with individuals, families and non-profit organizations through the years, developing comprehensive strategies to meet her clients’ unique circumstances. As a Senior Financial Advisor, Maureen applies her industry knowledge and experience as well as her attentive personality to partner with her clients as their financial caretaker. Using financial planning as the foundation, she designs and recommends strategies to help clients achieve financial peace of mind. Maureen also applies her English degree in her contributions to the firm's marketing and communications initiatives.

Maureen J. Pilato

Maureen J. Pilato, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor

A Rochester native, Maureen currently lives in Fairport with her husband, Greg, and their two children. In her spare time Maureen enjoys reading, physical fitness and staying active- the third of which comes naturally with young children in the house! The Seneca Park Zoo, the Strong Museum, Lollypop Farm, or in their own backyard, Maureen and Greg find an abundance of joy in re-living their favorite childhood memories as a family.

Maureen also has a passion for baking, and loves to spend time creating sweet treats for her family and friends. Her friends insist that she someday open a bakery of her own, but for now she’d rather offer her confections “on the house.” To date, she has received no complaints.

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Randi Beach

Randi Beach, Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8515
e rbeach@highfallsadvisors.com

Randi's wealth of experience in client service and operations provide a solid foundation for the relationships that she builds with her clients. She partners with Jim Englert to deliver comprehensive financial planning and investment advice while offering operational expertise to our portfolio management group. She has developed an invaluable skill for getting things done efficiently as a result of having held several positions in the financial services field during the past 17 years. She holds a BA degree in business administration from SUNY/Fredonia. She currently holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Randi Beach

Randi Beach, Financial Advisor

When Randi is not watching her favorite sports teams, she likes spending quality time with her family; husband Greg and their two children, Mallory and Henry. Together they enjoy camping, boating and traveling.

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Debbie King

Debbie King, CRPC®, Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8513
e dking@highfallsadvisors.com

Debbie has over 13 years of experience in various capacities in the financial services industry. She utilizes a detailed financial planning model to work with her clients. She is committed to understanding the specific situations of the individuals she advises, thereby being able to establish objectives, develop an appropriate strategy, recommend solutions, and review the progress made toward those goals and objectives.

Debbie earned the professional designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ (CRPC®) in 2015. She holds Series 7 and Series 66 licenses as well as a NYS Insurance license.

Debbie King

Debbie King, CRPC®, Financial Advisor

Debbie’s favorite topic of conversation is her three dogs, Linus, Cayden and Jordi. Debbie is an avid reader and loves to learn about anything and everything. She also enjoys kayaking and hiking.

Her Favorite quote: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right." -Henry Ford

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Zachary Harrington

Zachary Harrington, Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8519
e zharrington@highfallsadvisors.com

Zach has been an integral part of the High Falls Advisors team since 2012. As a Financial Advisor he has an unwavering quest to help people and believes that building close relationships with his clients allows him to be most effective in offering advice and support. Zach is also a member of our Portfolio Management and Marketing Committees and is currently working toward his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. He is an alumnus of Alfred University where he majored in Finance.

Zachary Harrington

Zachary Harrington, Financial Advisor

Outside the office, Zach enjoys taking in all that hometown Rochester has to offer. An aspiring food critic and craft beer connoisseur, Zach prides himself on sharing dinner and beverage-of-choice recommendations for all who are interested.

Having played 4 years of college football at Alfred University, Zach is also an avid sports fan and weight lifter who tries to make it to the gym as often as possible.

Zach lives in West Irondequoit with his fiancée, Mariah, and their beloved dog, Gus.

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Russell Mandrino

Russell Mandrino, Financial Advisor

p 585-935-8522
e rmandrino@highfallsadvisors.com

Russ, a former banker with substantial fiduciary experience in trust and estate work, has a formidable record as a portfolio manager and advisor on tax shelters. He has developed very sophisticated strategies for conserving and increasing client assets, and he has a substantial following among families that have complex financial situations. His sense of responsibility for his clients' well-being was developed during the heyday of private banking trust organizations. He is a past president of the Rochester Estate Planning Council.

Russell Mandrino

Russell Mandrino, Financial Advisor

Bon Voyage (Good Journey). If one is fortunate enough to travel, you experience new people, customs, cultures, as well as other geographic features. Travel for Russ is a hobby and a passion!

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James H. McBride

James H. McBride, Founder

p 585.935.8505
e jmcbride@highfallsadvisors.com

Jim is the Founder of High Falls Advisors. He manages portfolios of individual securities and other financial instruments for his clients. He serves as a trustee for individual and family clients, and as an agent for corporate trustees. His extensive experience in all phases of financial management and estate planning has its foundation in significant prior banking and trust positions.

James H. McBride

James H. McBride, Founder

In Jim’s spare time he enjoys fishing & boating at his cottage in Maine. He also volunteers at various charitable organizations and is active in his church.

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John Littwitz

John Littwitz, Benefits Specialist

p 585-935-8521
e jlittwitz@highfallsadvisors.com

John is our in-house health care resource, following six years at MVP Health Care, where he supervised a team that handled member appeals and complaints.

Prior to that experience, John spent over 35 years at Eastman Kodak doing retirement counseling within the Benefits organization, and handling employee and retiree benefits complaints. In addition, John has experience in Human Resources and Compensation. John served as Human Resources Manager at Kodak in both Manufacturing, and Sales and Marketing organizations.

John graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance, in Philadelphia, with a BS in Economics.

John Littwitz

John Littwitz, Benefits Specialist

John’s passion is officiating boys’ lacrosse, from youth levels through high school varsity, anywhere in Section 5. He has officiated for over a decade.

In addition, John officiates boys and girls volleyball at the 7th/8th grade level within Monroe County.

John has been running for more than thirty years and has run 32 marathons (26.2 miles) including the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon three times each. He strongly believes that being physically and mentally active and eating properly are keys for staying healthy.

John is a former school board member in West Irondequoit, having served for seven years (including one year as President) while his daughter, Jennifer, was growing up in the district. Other interests include reading fiction (such as C.J. Box, John Sandford and Michael Connelly), photography and traveling.

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Jim Nesbitt

Jim Nesbitt, Social Security Specialist

p 585-935-8525
e jnesbitt@highfallsadvisors.com

Jim worked for the Social Security Administration for 39 years as a claims specialist. He is the go-to guy for any social security questions. He specializes in helping clients navigate the confusing world of social security claiming strategies. His career included direct client contact, problem resolution, interpreting complex laws, rules, and regulations, developing outside business relationships, planning and conducting seminars, and all aspects of public program administration.

Jim Nesbitt

Jim Nesbitt, Social Security Specialist

Hiking, during any season, is an enjoyable way for me to explore nature up close. The snows of winter provide a chance to but on the boots, snap on the cross country skis, and hit the trails. The warmer weather will find me out chasing a little white ball with 336 dimples around several thousand yards of groomed green pasture. My son once asked what it takes to appreciate golf. My reply was, “a sense of humor”. A good day of golf is measured by finding more balls than you lose.

Endless back roads, the Erie Canal and the Greenway or Lehigh Trails allow for hours of biking fun. This year I plan on participating in several 40+ mile rides to support diabetes research. It is a wonderful opportunity in support of important research and at the same time, to enjoy the benefits of riding.

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Tim Verna

Tim Verna, Client Service/Tax Preparer

p 585-935-8530
e tverna@highfallsadvisors.com

Tim was born and raised in Rochester and brings 12 years of tax expertise to the firm. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Tim’s avocation was that of baseball umpire in the Rochester area for 25 years.

Tim provides high quality service for his tax clients in the planning and preparation of individual tax returns.

Tim Verna

Tim Verna, Client Service/Tax Preparer

Tim has a variety of interest when he is away from work. They include gardening, bicycling, baseball and, most importantly, his family. Tim and his wife, JoAnn, enjoy three day getaways to their favorite country inn in Vermont. Tim is very active in his church community volunteering his time and talent. Tim has two daughters, Amy and Sarah, and two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Antonio.

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Bonita Cordy

Bonita Cordy, Client Service

p 585-935-8531
e bcordy@highfallsadvisors.com

Bonnie has been with our organization since 2006. She is currently our Financial Accountant and is also involved with Human Resources, website administration and marketing endeavors. Bonnie also provides support for our financial advisors. She previously worked at Eastman Kodak in the Marketing and Operations areas, and was a paralegal for several years working with local attorneys.

Bonita Cordy

Bonita Cordy, Client Service

As you may have already determined, Bonnie is a Yankees fan. In addition to watching baseball, she loves to garden, read and the theater. However, her all time favorite place to be is at the beach enjoying “beach music”.

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Jean Rossi

Jean Rossi, Executive Client Service

p 585-935-8506
e jrossi@highfallsadvisors.com

With nearly 20 years of experience in Financial Services, Jean has a wealth of knowledge in Operations, Human Resources and Compliance, which she has cultivated through various positions through the years. She has been with High Falls Advisors since 2003 and has continued to build upon her previous experience as the firm has grown through the years. In her current role, Jean provides a wide range of client service support for clients of Jim McBride and others. She currently holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Jean Rossi

Jean Rossi, Executive Client Service

Jean is a Rochester native. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She loves cooking and entertaining and likes to try new recipes. She enjoys the local festivals and wine touring in the Finger Lakes. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren and lives in Chili with her fiancé Jim.

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Dariya Tes

Dariya Tes, Client Service

p 585-935-8512
e dtes@highfallsadvisors.com

Dariya joins HFA with five years of experience in financial services, and we are delighted to have her on our team as an Advisor Assistant. You may have met her already or you may meet her soon, but you certainly won't forget her infectious laugh, her positive attitude or her attentive personality.

Dariya Tes

Dariya Tes, Client Service

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Debbie Ferris

Debbie Ferris, Receptionist

p 585-935-5300 Ext. 100
e dferris@highfallsadvisors.com

Debbie is our Receptionist and Ambassador of First Impressions! She will greet you upon your arrival, validate your parking and offer you a cup of coffee, all with a welcoming smile. Debbie also assists with clerical support for our staff.

Debbie Ferris

Debbie Ferris, Receptionist

Growing up in New Jersey Debbie spent many family vacations at Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. Her love for camping in the great outdoors continues today where she and her husband Dave, along with their 2 dogs, children and grandchildren can be found enjoying their “camp” in the Sodus Bay area.